Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Raymond Chandler: Later Novels and Other Writings: The Lady in the Lake / The Little Sister / The Long Goodbye / Playback /Double Indemnity / Selected Essays and Letters (Library of America) Hardcover – October 1, 1995
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Raymond Chandler is arguably the best American pulp novelist. His prose is so acutely visual, his characters so raw and intense that it is small wonder that all but one of his books have been made into movies. And his hero Philip Marlowe has graduated into American legend. Together with its companion volume (Stories and Early Novels), Later Novels and Other Writings forms the most complete Chandler collection in print. In addition to his later novels, this collection contains selected essays and letters, biographical information, and textual as well as explanatory notes. As an added bonus, the editor has included Chandler's screenplay to Double Indemnity, the classic Billy Wilder film adapted from James M. Cain's novel. You're able to compare the script to the finished movie and have the rare opportunity to see how one major crime novelist altered and interpreted another.
From Library Journal
These additions to the venerable series make official what mystery fans have always known: Raymond Chandler is one of the gods of American literature. Following the trail blazed by Dashiell Hammett, Chandler created Philip Marlowe and set the standard against which all private detective fiction is measured. This two-volume set covers the full canon of Chandler's work from early pulp stories to all the Marlowe novels, the screenplay for Double Indemnity, and essays on the mystery genre plus the usual Library of America goodies such as notes on the text and a chronology of the author's life. In terms of literary inventions, the Wild West cowboy and the hard-boiled P.I. are this country's only true native sons and are deserving of respect. One of them at least now has it.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
Detective stories aren't as common as they once were, but if you look at the offspring of the Pulp magazine once so popular, television, they are still as popular as ever. Chandler was one author who defined what a detective story was. This book contains four novels:The Lady in the Lake, The Little Sister, The Long Goodbye, and Playback. These are wonderfully entertaining stories that contain the archetypical hard-bitten detective, Philip Marlowe. After reading these stories you will forever see Marlowe in every detective story you see or read, from Magnum to the latest TV cop. How can you not love an author who sums up Modern American Capitalism with lines like these? "We make the finest packages in the world, Mr. Marlowe. The stuff inside is mostly junk." Or an author who in the early 50's, (50 years before the current 'Queers Dress Up' shows) so presciently wrote, "The queer is the artistic arbiter of our age, chum." Or his comment on a speech by a politician, "He did not bore us with any facts."
These books are not just riveting, fun reading, but full of thoughtful quotes like the above.
Chandler also is must-reading for his understanding of criminality, venality, human nature, Southern California, Movies, American culture and American relationship dynamics. I hate to use the word "classic" to describe stories that are just so plain fun to read, but I find it hard not to.
This volume also contains a screenplay, Double Indemnity, and a few essays and letters. The essays "The Simple Art of Murder", and "Writers in Hollywood" should be required reading for anyone interested in 20th century culture, movies, and literature. Just a few tidbits more. Chandler on English Mystery Writers - "The English may not always be the best writers in the world, but they are incomparably the best dull writers." Chandler on boredom - "There are no dull subjects, only dull minds." Chandler on critics - "The average critic never recognizes an achievement when it happens. He explains it after it has become respectable."
My only criticism is that the plots are contrived and sometimes complicated. But such criticism is like complaining that the Mona Lisa would be a fine painting if only it were of a different size.
Chandler is simply wonderful, funny, cynical, and yes, - respectable.
I won't try to list all the ways these novels are great and entertaining, but here's one thought that hasn't been mentioned in other reviews. Chandler is excellent at presenting a hero-character who has to worry about money and making a living. Indeed, Chandler makes this issue integral to the character's persona and to the plot line. Yes, the books are escapist in so many ways. Yet, in this respect at least, they are far more realistic than almost all of the fiction, and much of the non-fiction, these days.
In one of these letters he even discusses fellow hardboiled writer Ross Macdonald's (here called John, as he hadn't changed his name yet) The Moving Target, which cribbed some ideas from The Big Sleep and Dashiell Hammett's The Thin Man.
The novels themselves? Classic Chandler - enough said. If you'd like to know why you should expect the best in hardboiled detective fiction, well, read 'em all, or at least one. (If you're planning on that course of action, try the first in the series, The Big Sleep, included in a similar volume called Stories and Early Novels: Pulp Stories/The Big Sleep/Farewell, My Lovely/The High Window.)
Bottom line, this is required reading for anyone who won't read just anything but at the same time doesn't limit themself to Anna Karenina.